Small town America road trippers need fuel to power not only their vehicles, but also their bodies. We found ours at Sandy’s in Cambria before heading out for our next round of discoveries…
Deciding to eat light for a change, we split this healthy, overstuffed sourdough sandwich…for breakfast.
It was time to say goodbye to the coast and head inland. Not far out of Cambria Village is the cool VERY SMALL TOWN of Harmony (population 18).
Considering there’s only 18 people living here, we wondered who attended this beautiful old chapel and…
Harmony Cellars Vineyard is yet another beautiful wine tasting venue.
Its wines, according to Bart, are really tasty.
Who else besides us, buys the infamous jars of “Frog Balls”. They’re hot selling pickled brussels sprouts we bought for a particular friend. Susan, you know who you are and why these are for you!
After heading out of Harmony, feeling full of harmony ourselves, we continue on. Well, looky loo…we did it!
The Tour-mobile and its occupants hit another milestone: 5,ooo miles.
Continuing the Tour, we hopped on State Route 46, which is a major crossing of the Coast Ranges. It wasn’t long before we hit a breathtaking view of even more CA mountains. Rorie and Bart agreed that, while they’re nice to look at, the roads through these steep inclines can be really intimidating.
Cruising on to and through Paso Robles, we stumbled onto another outrageously gorgeous vineyard and winery. We had to stop and investigate Heart Hill Vineyard, one of 3 vineyards of the family-owned, small-lot bottler Niner Wine Estates. See how this vineyard got it’s name?
The tasting room and restaurant are housed in a stunning stone building and Matt, a wonderfully friendly staff member, shared the story of the vineyard and the wines they produce.
Matt was a great source of information on the Niners commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability, and its passion for excellence in its products. Although we didn’t buy any wine, Bart couldn’t leave without a bag of salt and pepper pistachio nuts. No red dye on these shells, just pure natural flavors. Sooo good.
Leaving the vineyards behind, and entering the San Joaquin Valley, we passed through the Lost Hills Oil Field. Discovered by accident in 1910 while drilling for water, 2 drillers struck oil…literally. With huge reserves of oil and natural gas still in the ground, this oil field has already produced over 458 million barrels of oil. It was shocking to go from green mountains dotted with vineyards to flat desert-like grounds dotted with oil rigs.
Continuing on, we jumped on the brakes when we saw this awesome view…Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet, CA. This man-made reservoir is one of the largest in Southern CA.
Our final destination of today’s drive is Old Town Pasadena, home of the iconic Rose Bowl football game and parade. Our brother (brother-in-law) Jeff was involved with the parade committee for years.
Old Town Pasadena is the city’s original commercial district. With endless options for shopping and dining, museums and turn-of-the-century architecture, we spent a lot of hours strolling along the streets and ducking into restaurants. Our first stop was a wonderful diner-type restaurant with a real catchy name – Russell’s.
After a long afternoon exploring the town with family, we were all in need of a little something sweet and knew just the place to go…Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain on Rte.66 in Old Town Pasadena.
Opened in 1915, this turn-of-the-century landmark is a mecca for anyone who loves ice cream, malts, shakes, phosphates, egg creams, sundaes, cones, banana splits or The Kitchen Sink...a $35, over the top concoction of pure heaven. Just sit and watch the specially trained soda-jerks make your dessert dreams come true. Then hope you can still fit into the dress you brought to wear to your niece’s wedding.
And talk about wedding venues, we have never been to a more spectacular setting than the one where our niece Sami got married. The wedding was held on the penthouse rooftop of the historic Oviatt Building which is smack in the middle of downtown LA. The art-deco high rise building is surrounded by towering buildings and their lights, in concert with the moon, North Star and a passing blimp created a magical glow to the outdoor festivities.
Rorie’s niece Sami and brother Jeff. Spencer, the groom is waiting his turn for a dance.
Having recovered from the wedding, indulging in a final goodbye lunch with family and packing up the car, it was time to head back across the country for our return trip East. Time to say “see ya” to CA and “hi ya” once again to AZ…this time Scottsdale.